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Author Topic: Obama's "Justice" Department wants to force you to decrypt your DjWVBeXx4ZHsvGME  (Read 4772 times)
bitplane
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July 16, 2011, 01:16:46 PM
 #21

whether you have plausible deniability or not (and really there's no reason you shouldn't be encrypting without it) it is impossible to prove whether you remember your password. Even if you logged in yesterday, it is impossible to prove without a reasonable doubt that you haven;t forgotten your password today.
In the UK, if you're reasonably expected to have a password to decrypt some data that has been requested by court order as part of a criminal investigation, you can go to jail for 10 years for not handing over the key. This is regardless of whether you've "forgotten" it.
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em3rgentOrdr
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July 16, 2011, 07:46:27 PM
 #22

#1) It is impossible to prove that someone remembers or doesn't remember something. I forget passwords all the time, what's to say I haven't forgotten this one.

#2) Deniable Encryption

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deniable_encryption

Very interesting stuff there.  In particular:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubberhose

And it may protect you from indefinite beatings, as Julian Assange explains:
http://iq.org/~proff/rubberhose.org/current/src/doc/beatings.txt

It would be nice to have two different encryption passwords.  The real one decrypts your file into the actual potentially incriminating data, and the fake one decrypts your file into entirely innocent data.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
em3rgentOrdr
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July 16, 2011, 07:47:23 PM
 #23

labtop

Was that a typo or are you one of those people that calls them labtops?

I have been calling them labtops ever since i was a little kid.  I don't consider it a typo.

That bugs the hell out of me.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=labtop

LOL!

I appreciate you correcting me, in any case.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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July 16, 2011, 07:55:10 PM
 #24

It would be nice to have two different encryption passwords.  The real one decrypts your file into the actual potentially incriminating data, and the fake one decrypts your file into entirely innocent data.

Smart! And well worth what would essentially be an extra large header.

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JoelKatz
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July 16, 2011, 08:01:38 PM
 #25

Very interesting stuff there.  In particular:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubberhose

And it may protect you from indefinite beatings, as Julian Assange explains:
http://iq.org/~proff/rubberhose.org/current/src/doc/beatings.txt

It would be nice to have two different encryption passwords.  The real one decrypts your file into the actual potentially incriminating data, and the fake one decrypts your file into entirely innocent data.
This actually has the reverse of the intended result. If you are being tortured, in almost every foreseeable situation, you will want to be able to prove to your torturers that you have told them everything that you know. These schemes make this impossible for you to do, and thus give them no reason to ever stop torturing you, even if you have already given them everything you have to give them.

On the other hand, if it's law enforcement that's getting a judge to compel you to give the keys ...

I am an employee of Ripple.
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em3rgentOrdr
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July 16, 2011, 08:03:05 PM
 #26

What happened to the The Fifth Amendment of TCOTUS which says that "no person...shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."
The justice department is offering production immunity, so there's (arguably) no testimonial act.

That means the actual text of the passphrase (which for all we know could be "I am guilty") is not admissible in court. Similarly, the fact that she knew the passphrase (which could be evidence that she is connected to the decrypted contents) will not be admissible in court either. They just want the decrypted contents of the hard drive they already have.

They don't want any testimony from her. They don't want her to be a witness.

They can force you to provide handwriting exemplars. They can force you to provide DNA. They can even force you to sign a letter authorizing a foreign bank to reveal your account information to them. The only thing the fifth amendment says is that they can't force you to be a witness or to testify.

I agree, it's bullshit, but it's also not an unreasonable interpretation of the text of the fifth amendment.


It's very complex.  A lengthy legal analysis on "Self Incrimination and Cryptographic Keys" is available here:

http://iq.org/~proff/rubberhose.org/current/src/doc/sergienko.html

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
em3rgentOrdr
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July 16, 2011, 08:05:00 PM
 #27

Very interesting stuff there.  In particular:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubberhose

And it may protect you from indefinite beatings, as Julian Assange explains:
http://iq.org/~proff/rubberhose.org/current/src/doc/beatings.txt

It would be nice to have two different encryption passwords.  The real one decrypts your file into the actual potentially incriminating data, and the fake one decrypts your file into entirely innocent data.
This actually has the reverse of the intended result. If you are being tortured, in almost every foreseeable situation, you will want to be able to prove to your torturers that you have told them everything that you know. These schemes make this impossible for you to do, and thus give them no reason to ever stop torturing you, even if you have already given them everything you have to give them.

No, but you don't tell them about the existence of the real data.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
vector76
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July 16, 2011, 08:24:45 PM
 #28

It would be nice to have two different encryption passwords.  The real one decrypts your file into the actual potentially incriminating data, and the fake one decrypts your file into entirely innocent data.

Smart! And well worth what would essentially be an extra large header.
This already exists in TrueCrypt and several others.  It would obviously be a good idea to put some stuff worth hiding in the decoy.

Unless you write your own software or can very thoroughly mask it's origin, you should presume they know that there is a possibility of a second volume.  But for them to establish that you are lying about the absence of a second volume is quite different from establishing that you are lying about having forgotten the password altogether.

it is impossible to prove whether you remember your password. Even if you logged in yesterday, it is impossible to prove without a reasonable doubt that you haven;t forgotten your password today.
Claiming to have forgotten your password is a terrible idea because reasonable doubt != theoretical possibility.
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July 16, 2011, 08:31:10 PM
 #29

No, but you don't tell them about the existence of the real data.
So then when do they stop torturing you? Never?

I am an employee of Ripple.
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JoelKatz
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July 16, 2011, 08:40:28 PM
 #30

It's very complex.  A lengthy legal analysis on "Self Incrimination and Cryptographic Keys" is available here:

http://iq.org/~proff/rubberhose.org/current/src/doc/sergienko.html
I think the best legal argument would be that the decrypted documents the government seeks do not currently exist -- they did, but they no longer do. The government is not asking you to give those documents to them as they currently exist but instead is asking for you to assist them in (re)creating them.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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myrkul
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July 16, 2011, 08:44:13 PM
 #31

No, but you don't tell them about the existence of the real data.
So then when do they stop torturing you? Never?

When you give them the decoy.

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JoelKatz
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July 16, 2011, 08:50:56 PM
 #32

When you give them the decoy.
But nothing you do can ever convince them that you didn't give them a decoy. If you're being tortured, the only way to stop it is to prove to them that you've given them the real code. With deniable encryption, you can never do this. You can never give them a good reason to stop torturing you.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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myrkul
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July 16, 2011, 08:52:19 PM
 #33

When you give them the decoy.
But nothing you do can ever convince them that you didn't give them a decoy.

Or that you did.

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JoelKatz
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July 16, 2011, 08:55:14 PM
 #34

When you give them the decoy.
But nothing you do can ever convince them that you didn't give them a decoy.

Or that you did.
If they're going to the trouble of torturing you, you can be 100% sure of two things:

1) They think you have something they want.

2) They won't stop unless you either give it to them or prove you cannot give it to them.

So, if you're worried about torture, two things are the case:

1) Don't worry about people who are torturing you for something you can give them. You just give it to them and they stop torturing you.

2) Worry about people who are torturing you for something you cannot give them. You must be able to prove you cannot help them in order to get them to stop.

For 99.9999% of imaginable circumstances, if you are being tortured, your goal should be to get the torturing to stop.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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myrkul
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July 16, 2011, 08:57:15 PM
 #35

2) They won't stop unless you either give it to them or prove you cannot give it to them.

The mere fact that hidden volumes exist means you can't prove that you can't. Even if you give them the real one.

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ctoon6
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July 16, 2011, 09:08:41 PM
 #36

how can they prove that you are even able to decrypt it, or that you are the one to even encrypt it in the first place.

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July 16, 2011, 09:55:25 PM
 #37

2) They won't stop unless you either give it to them or prove you cannot give it to them.

The mere fact that hidden volumes exist means you can't prove that you can't. Even if you give them the real one.
Right. That's why deniable encryption is useless against torture. It is, however, useful against a court ordering you to provide the keys.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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July 16, 2011, 09:58:00 PM
 #38

how can they prove that you are even able to decrypt it, or that you are the one to even encrypt it in the first place.
Assuming you are talking about the original article, the answer is simple: They prove you are able to decrypt it by getting a court order compelling you to decrypt it and then watching you decrypt it. If your question is "how do they prove you are able to decrypt it if you commit perjury and claim you are unable to decrypt it", the answer is the same way they prove any other kind of lie. Remember, they don't have to actually prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. They only have to convince a jury that they they have proven it beyond a reasonable doubt.

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myrkul
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July 16, 2011, 10:02:01 PM
 #39

2) They won't stop unless you either give it to them or prove you cannot give it to them.

The mere fact that hidden volumes exist means you can't prove that you can't. Even if you give them the real one.
Right. That's why deniable encryption is useless against torture. It is, however, useful against a court ordering you to provide the keys.
My point was that 2) was moot. Either they will accept it, or they won't. Even if you give them the real data.

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July 16, 2011, 10:02:50 PM
 #40


If you don't own the private keys, you don't own the coins.
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